Oct. 2 — A year after the United States invaded Puerto Rico in 1898 and imposed a military regime, Hurricane San Ciriaco hit the island and devastated nearly its entire infrastructure. This allowed the invaders to restructure the country at their convenience. Agriculture was destroyed, and the coffee and tobacco that went to European markets were eventually replaced by gigantic sugar cane plantations imposed by the U.S. to benefit their sugar industry.
Profits went to their home offices in New York and Boston, thus beginning the draining of Boricua’s wealth by the U.S. Together with this, the U.S. Congress passed the Foraker Act in 1900, which established the U.S. dollar as the official currency of Puerto Rico, replacing the peso, which the U.S. had already devalued in January 1899. With one Yankee slap, Puerto Ricans lost 40 percent of their wealth.
Today, after Hurricane Maria’s Sept. 20 devastation of the island, it seems that the Yankee empire is preparing to restructure Puerto Rico again to serve its new interests in these times of terrible capitalist decline, which makes that system no less cruel and criminal.
This latest restructuring had already begun when the U.S. Congress passed the Promesa Act under the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama, forcing Puerto Ricans to pay an illegitimate and odious debt of $74 billion. A debt for which the authorities still — and this must be stressed — refuse to accept a people’s audit.